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Chinese Ambassador seeks the expansion of collaboration with UB

Chinese Ambassador seeks the expansion of collaboration with UB

Dated : 09.05.2017

The Chinese Ambassador to Botswana, Mr Zhao Yanbo proposed new areas of collaboration between the University of Botswana and China, as well as the expansion of existing ones.

During a courtesy call on the University of Botswana Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Kgomotso Moahi on May 4, 2017, Ambassador Mr Zhao proposed the establishment of the Ambassador Scholarship, and that the Africa/China Research Group could be upgraded into a centre.
In addition, he said UB and Chinese Embassy should further explore other areas of cooperation, especially that Botswana and China enjoyed strong friendship underpinned by more than four decades of excellent relations, especially in areas of economy and education. Also, he said the Chinese Studies Programme had laid a good foundation to strengthen cooperation between Botswana and China. He appreciated the role UB played in the development of the country which saw Botswana classified now as a middle income economy.
Mr Zhao said he was impressed with the modern infrastructure at UB which played a role in positioning it as one of the best institutions of higher learning in Africa.
In response, Professor Moahi acknowledged the role China played in the development of Botswana given the cordial relations that the two countries had long enjoyed in different sectors such as health, education and business. Professor Moahi said the constant interaction between UB and the Chinese Embassy had borne great dividends in that they shared ideas which benefitted the country as well.
She said the Department of Chinese Studies was doing well, but regretted manpower constraints as one of their challenges. UB hosts the Botswana Confucius Institute which teaches Chinese language.
Professor Moahi welcomed the idea of establishing the Ambassador Scholarship and upgrading of the Africa/China Research Group to the level of a centre. However, she said it was important to make sure that the centre was self-sustaining and multi-disciplinary besides collaborating with other institutions both in China and Botswana to create a wider network of services. Professor Moahi is a founding member and former chairperson of the centre.
“We are open to business with the Chinese Embassy,” said Professor Moahi. She noted that the staff exchange programmes that the ambassador proposed would complement UB’s internationalization policy.
Deputy Vice Chancellor Academic Affairs, Professor Martin Mokgwathi, expressed the desire to revive cultural exchanges that Botswana used to enjoy with China. He also said China could help in the development of the Faculty of Medicine where he decried shortage of staff as well.
Botswana Confucius Institute director, Professor Part Mgadla, appreciated the role played by the institute as a bridge between Botswana and China.

The Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor Anderson Chebanne said their main concern was difficulties experienced in recruiting professors who speak native Chinese to teach at the institute.

Contact Details :
4775 Notwane Rd. Gaborone, Botswana Private Bag UB 0022. Tel: +(267) 355 0000 Gaborone, Botswana